SNOWMASS VILLAGE - Related Cos. closed Friday on a $90 million transaction to acquire Base Village in Snowmass, clearing a major hurdle between developers and progress on the stalled project.
The deal transferred ownership of the assets and settled all lawsuits between the company and the lender group, a consortium of four European banks that has controlled the project since January.
The acquisition completes the transfer of title of Base Village assets including the Viceroy Snowmass hotel, retail units, unsold Capitol Peak and Hayden Lodge residences, the Arrival Center, parking garage, and various land parcels, according to a statement from Related.
"We are thrilled now to have the next chapter open up," said Dwayne Romero, president of Related Colorado.
The company can now begin what Romero calls "forward progress" with the stalled development. That first includes some physical improvements, mainly to the Arrival Center, which Related announced it has submitted a building permit for earlier this week.
Romero said that permit should be approved by early next week. The improvements include constructing an asphalt drive with parking and interior work, so that skiers can be dropped off and walk through the transit center to access the plaza. The work will take some traffic pressure off drop-off spots up Carriage Way Road, including the Treehouse, and improve guests' experience this ski season, Romero said.
"The race is against the clock," he said.
The next big priority will be to market and sell Viceroy condominium units this winter. Romero said that in the near future there will be a lot of "planning and preparation work."
The majority of the other residences in Base Village, in Capitol Peak and Hayden Lodge, have already been sold. Nine units remain developer-owned, and Romero said the company will look to put a selection of those on the market as well.
Related announced in May that it had entered a transaction through affiliate Snowmass Acquisition Co. LLC to acquire Base Village. Related formerly owned the property through another entity, Related WestPac, after purchasing it from the Aspen Skiing Co. and Intrawest in 2007 for $169 million, according to the Snowmass Sun.
Related Cos. defaulted on a $520 million loan from a division of the German Hypo Real Estate Group in 2009, and an entity of that company began foreclosure proceedings on Base Village in 2010.
The lenders, Hypo and three other European banks, submitted the only bid to take control of the property last November.
Related Cos. also own and manage the Snowmass Center, property on the Snowmass Mall, Mountain Chalet, Snowmass Inn, and the operating companies Snowmass Hospitality and Snowmass Property Management.